20) Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – Joining The Mile High Club
With each instalment, the Mission Impossible movies strive to out-do themselves further in the ‘ridiculously dangerous’ stunt stakes. It’s hard to imagine how the next film will be able to top the opening of Rogue Nation though, where Tom Cruise actually hangs onto the outside of a plane as it takes off into the sky. And yes, he literally did that. No stuntmen were used. One of the most recognisable stars on the planet decided that doing this for real would be a great idea.
Fortunately, Cruise didn’t get any finger cramps and ultimately survived the ordeal, creating one of the most impressive action sequences ever depicted on celluloid. Clearly, praying to whatever reincarnated alien gods he’s into these days did wonders for Cruise, so if you’re thinking about attempting a similar stunt or simply need help on your next exam, Scientology is the way to go my friends.
– David Opie
19) Insidious: Chapter Three – The Man Who Can’t Breathe Visits Quinn
Perhaps disappointing in the overall disconnect it has between the deeply disturbing first two films, Insidious: Chapter Three has enough Lin Shaye badassery and emotional undercurrents laced between the creepy crazy set-pieces that it more than makes up for the pedestrian demonic possession story arc.
The prequel also has a cool origin story angle given to the creation of Elise (Shaye), Specs (writer/director Leigh Whannell), and Tucker’s (Angus Sampson) ghost-busting business that helped the Lambert clan battle the invasion of scary spooks attempting to embody their young, astral projecting son in the first films.
The Lamberts are nowhere to be found in Chapter Three, however, and that’s largely okay given Shaye’s lead status in simultaneously attempting to overcome the death of her husband and helping a newly haunted apartment-dwelling family, led by Dermot Mulroney. When teenage Quinn (Stefanie Scott) becomes bed-ridden after a traumatic accident (another downfall of the threequel: slight series repetition), she begins to get visits from a gas mask-wearing creep in the middle of the night. And it’s that first direct interaction between Quinn and her demon friend-o, dubbed “The Man Who Can’t Breathe,” that provides the best reason for the series’ continued existence.
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One night, as she is awakened by a noise, the hazy outline of the intimidating specter appears in her bedroom curtains. Jump scares and harsh flinging across her small bedroom ensue, but it’s the quiet respite the creature takes once Quinn is incapacitated on the floor that sticks with you the most. As she lies there, tears welling up and staring at the low-lit wallpaper of her laptop screen – a happy family pic before her mother’s death – the only sound that can be heard are footsteps nearing her.
After a few nerve-wrangling seconds, the laptop shuts, the screen goes black, and she screams. It’s short, brutal, and eviscerating in its deft emotional power, succeeding in making you care for its central protagonist in the face of her impending demise. A poignant eye-opener that’s also a nifty recurring theme in the otherwise standard fright flick, which gets a similarly affecting payoff come the noisy finale.
– Mitchel Broussard
18) Straight Outta Compton – F**k The Police
Straight Outta Compton may have descended into cliche at times, but the film’s depiction of N.W.A.’s rise to fame was far better than it had any right to be. F. Gary Gray’s biopic featured a number of dramatic moments worth mentioning here, but one in particular deserves to be seen more widely for the vital statement.
The scene opens innocuously enough, with N.W.A. hanging around outside of a studio they’re using to record early material. Out of nowhere, a police car suddenly pulls up and before the audience can even register what’s happening, the officers have forced the group down to the ground and begin to degrade them both verbally and physically, simply because of the colour of their skin.
Straight Outta Compton may be set over twenty years ago, but the racial tension depicted throughout is just as prevalent as ever, making this a film of vital importance for people of all backgrounds
– David Opie